Rash Behind The Ear, Causes, Remedies, Treatment

Rash behind the ear can also cause a receding hairline behind the ear lobe. Rash that appear behind the ears and neck can be red, itchy and painful. This may cause feelings of discomfort in both toddlers and adults. There are several causes of this condition as listed below.

Rash behind ear can be red itchy sore and even cause a scaly dry skin in the area. This rash can also appear like small bumps behind the ear that are puss filled. The bumpy non itchy rash can spread on areas around the earlobe depending on the cause.

Picture of red scaly skin with white patches behind the ear caused by Eczema

Picture of red scaly skin with white patches behind the ear caused by Eczema

One is said to have contracted skin rash when any part of the skin develops swellings or becomes irritated or itchy. Rash behind the ear might include bumps, scaly skin, colored patches on the skin (mostly reddened), sores, or burning sensations behind the ears.

Some of these rash can be as a result of medical conditions such as measles in young children, chicken pox, contact dermatitis, or psoriasis.

It is advisable to have routine skin care checks in order to understand the exact causes of each rash that occurs behind an individual’s ear.

Most skin conditions are known to be less harmful and never life-threatening. Some rash are likely to clear up on their own after some time and the skin regains its normalcy.

It is also important to note that some of the medicals conditions that cause rash behind the ear can prove to be dangerous if not treated in good time. For example, chicken pox is a highly contagious condition and is also life-threatening.

Some itchy and painful rash can be easily treated using over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin and some painkillers. Some topical creams that are either anti-inflammatory or anti-itching can also be applied.

These creams include the clotrimazole containing creams and gels. However, if the symptoms become persistent, one is advised to seek the help of a doctor (preferably a dermatologist).

Rash behind the ear and on the neck

Rash that appear behind the ears can be caused by several different factors. Although they might have different symptoms, the varied infections that cause rash behind the ears have some symptoms that may appear to be similar to each other. Some of the common symptoms may include:

  1. Bumpy rash behind the ears and on the necks that might be itchy.
  2. Swelling of the lymph nodes behind the ears and on the neck areas.
  1. Redness of the skin behind the ears and around the necks.
  2. Peeling of the skin on the affected areas.

Most times, these symptoms normally heal and vanish on their own without any form of treatment. The self-healing process normally takes a period of about one week to ten days. If in any case you are on medication for such symptoms and they fail to go away within that period, please seek medical attention from a qualified dermatologist to ascertain the cause. Remember that a rash may not entirely be an infection but it may be a sure sign of some hidden complication that may need to be treated in good time.

According to healthmds.org, “Atopic dermatitis also known as eczema is a skin condition that is popular among children than adults. When eczema affects behind the ear, it causes a dry, itchy skin that is inflamed and has rash. When advanced, there might be rash opening up to form blisters that weep or discharge of watery fluids”

Causes of Rash Behind the Ear and Neck

A skin rash is one symptom that is the easiest to notice and could be as a result of several factors that include contact with allergens, use of skin based cosmetic products, medication, and diseases like measles and chicken pox.

Heat Rash behind the ear and neck

This condition is most common in children. It is mostly as a result of direct exposure to sunlight for longer periods (sunburns) or even wrapping babies with warm clothing for too long. Heat rash are not life-threatening but are known to cause a lot of discomfort to babies and children.

Heat rash can be red, cause the skin to be scaly, and may also cause the top skin to start peeling off.

This type of rash can be avoided by reducing the child’s exposure to direct sunlight, keeping the baby reasonably warm and application of baby powder or petroleum jelly in order to soothe the skin. Please note that should these remedies fail to work, you need to seek assistance from a pediatrician.

Rubella (German Measles)

It is caused by a highly contagious virus and can be easily transmitted from one person to another through bodily contact. Its symptoms are most severe in children than in adults.

Some of the symptoms that are associated with rubella include:

–    Swollen and tender lymph nodes.

–    Running nose and red, wet eyes as when you have a cold.

–    Headaches.

–    Inflamed eyes.

–    Joint and muscle pains.

Rubella symptoms are not dangerous except in the case of infection on a pregnant woman. Pregnant women are likely to transmit it to the unborn children through the bloodstream (congenital rubella syndrome) resulting in stillbirths and miscarriages.

Once diagnosed with the rubella virus, an individual can be treated at home by getting enough bed rest and using acetaminophen which helps in reducing the fever and itchiness. Minimizing contact with masses also helps greatly in curbing the spread of the virus to other people.

Measles

This is also a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system.

It is highly contagious and can be spread from one person to another through contact with saliva and mucus of infected individuals. Its symptoms normally appear within two weeks. The symptoms include muscle aches, red eyes, white patches in the buccal cavity, running nose, sore throat, and rash on the body including behind the ears.

Luckily, there is immunization for this disease which helps in reducing and preventing chances of the virus’ attack in children. There are no known prescription medications for this disease except that the symptoms are known to disappear on their own within 2-3 weeks after infection.

Most doctors, however, prescribe vitamin A supplements, lots of fluids intake (especially water to keep the body hydrated), enough bed rest that helps strengthen the immune system, and acetaminophen which helps in reducing joint pains and fever.

Psoriasis

This is a chronic skin condition that is known to be caused by an overactive immune system. It causes an inflammation of the skin with thick red or white patches.

It is common in diabetes, the obese, and people with heart diseases. It is also genetic and can be inherited by the offspring of an infected individual.

Psoriasis is incurable but some of its symptoms can be treated using oral antibiotics, light therapy, and steroid gels and creams.

Contact Dermatitis

This condition is caused by a reaction of the skin to an environmental substance. A good example, in this case, could be an earring made out of a substance that might react with your skin. This reaction might end up causing a rash behind the ear and possibly around your neck.

Such a condition might not be life-threatening and could easily be controlled by applying over-the-counter gels or creams to control the inflammation and the itchiness caused by such rash. However, should there be no improvement within a week; it is still advisable to visit a dermatologist.

Fungal Infection can cause Itchy rash behind the ear lobe

The most common symptoms observed in this case may include rash appearing on the skin, white or red patches on the skin, the skin may become scaly and may begin to peel off, and sores may also begin appearing.

Upon being diagnosed as having contracted a fungal infection, your dermatologist will most likely prescribe some anti-fungal drugs and some drying agents in the form of gels, creams, or powders for topical application. However, some drugs might have to be administered intravenously (injected into the body) depending on the types and levels of infection.

Chicken Pox

This is a highly contagious viral infection and is most common in children but can also attack adults. The virus can only attack an individual once and the body will develop immunity against the virus for good.

Chickenpox causes an itchy rash behind the ear and all over the body. It also appears as red blisters that can easily pop and cause serious discomforts begin to surface on the skin, headache, and possibly loss of appetite.

Only the symptoms can be treated by applying drying creams, antihistamines, and other topical ointments. Vaccination against chickenpox is the best approach for infants. Due to the fact that it spreads through contact, it is good to reduce contact with infected persons, especially among children.

Poison Ivy

Also known scientifically as Toxicodendron Radicans, this flowering plant is known to cause contact dermatitis. This is due to the chemical toxins known as urushiol which it produces.

Poison Oak

The plant is also known as Toxicodendron Diversilobum. It also produces urushiol which causes effects that are similar to those in the case of poison ivy.

Sumac

This woody shrub is also known scientifically as Toxicodendron vernix and it also produces urushiol. However, it is considered to be more allergenic than the poison oak and the poison ivy. Fortunately, the toxins from the Toxicodendron genus plants do not cause contagious rash.

Hives

Hives are also known medically as urticaria. It is a rash that appears on the skin and it causes an itch and red bumps. It normally occurs anywhere on the body including behind the ears and on the necks. The rash can vary in sizes.

Hives could be caused by both allergic and non-allergic reactions. Studies have shown that nearly twenty percent of the human population develops hives at some point in time in their lives.

When a swelling deep in the skin accompanies hives, whatever occurs is known as angioedema. This swelling never lasts long but its presence is quite uncomfortable. Angioedema is known to attack even the eyes and lips.

The two main categories of hives are known as ordinary hives/acute urticaria and chronic hives/urticaria. Their causes and treatment also vary.

Symptoms of Hives

Hives can start on one part of the body and quickly move to another. The rash tends to appear and disappear within 24 hours at a time for each attack. There is no other skin condition with these characteristics of self-resolving at such a rapid rate.

Before visiting a doctor, it is advisable to take a photo of the rash at its worst so the doctor at least has something to base the diagnosis on. Some of the symptoms of hives are:

  1. Raised red bumps on the skin. These bumps are itchy and have a tendency of growing in size over time. In some cases, they even join together to form largely raised rash.
  2. The bumps can be painful to touch. If a pressure is applied to a bump it will turn white towards its center.
  3. The rash forms in patches on the body.
  4. Hives rash keep changing shape over time and tend to disappear and reappear in different parts of the body.
  5. Difficulty in breathing and swallowing.
  6. Irregular pulse.
  7. Increased anxiety levels.
  8. Dizziness that could be occasioned by fainting spells and blackouts.

Your doctor will be able to tell if you have hives by looking at your skin or by conducting a blood test or a skin biopsy.

Causes of Hives

Hives in most cases are caused by allergic reactions to certain types of food, medication or insect bites. There are also cases of hives with no specific causes determined. In such situations, it is advisable to embrace changes in diet and lifestyle.

Hives occur when the mast cells in the skin release histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream. Histamine is responsible for causing the blood vessels in the skin to leak and swell up. This results in the red raised bumps that are symptomatic of an attack of hives. Causes of hives include:

  1. Hereditary factors.
  2. Allergies to medications, food (especially proteins), stings, and insect bites.
  3. Certain weather conditions.
  4. The improper functioning of the thyroid glands.
  5. Metabolic related diseases.
  6. Leukemia.
  7. Liver or kidney problems.
  8. Chronic infections such as UTI or sinuses.
  9. Skin allergies to pollen, animal dander, or latex.

 Ring Worm or Tinea Capitis

Ringworm causes red rashes that are circular and can be itchy
Ringworm causes red rashes that are circular and can be itchy

Ring worms or Tinea Capitis may also infect areas behind the ear and have symptoms like:

  1. Itchy feeling and an urge to scratch skin behind the ear
  2. Crusting forms on the skin behind the ear lobe and sometimes around it
  3. Scaling may be experienced
  4. Inflamed nodules
  5. Hair loss on areas behind the ear and other affected areas

The inflamed nodules may appear as rashes behind the ear and neck but in some cases they are wider than pimples. They are best treated by a doctor’s microscopic examination. Anti-fungal may be prescribed in this case.

How to Get Rid of Rash behind the ear and Neck Using Home Remedies

Most skin infections are never life-threatening and can be treated at home. These remedies that can be applied at home are only known to help soothe the skin and in some cases rid the skin of some symptoms like itching and inflammations. They may also help in speeding up the healing process. They might not help in treating the exact causes of the rash.

Some of the remedies may include the following:

1. Tree Oil

This natural antiseptic is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Tree oil can be used to treat symptoms caused by chicken pox, fungal infections, psoriasis, and several other types of skin infections. It can be mixed with some honey and topically applied to the affected areas to make it more effective.

2. Turmeric

It is known to contain a wide range of antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Turmeric contains lipopolysaccharide substance which is known to help in boosting the body’s immune system.

3. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloes are the most widely known herbs especially when it comes to skin treatment remedies at home. They contain antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-itching properties that are quite helpful for soothing the skin.

The gel can be applied to the affected areas and left for approximately 20 minutes before being rinsed out with clean running water. This process can be repeated two times daily for about a week in order to achieve optimal results. Aloe vera not only soothes sunburns but is also a wonder herb when it comes to relieving rash caused by poison ivy.

4. Plain Yoghurt

Plain yogurt is a good anti-itching and anti-inflammatory cream that is readily available at home. It also helps reduce inflammation. Yoghurt containing zinc, lactic acid, calcium, and vitamin B. These nutrients are essential for the skin.

5. Baking Soda

Known to have great anti-fungal properties, you can make a paste of baking soda using a little water and apply it to the affected areas. Leave it for about 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing it off using clean running water. For optimal results, repeat the process twice a day for about a week. Baking soda also helps to speed up the skin’s recovery.

6. Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal is known to be a natural reliever for itching. Being a natural cleanser, it provides temporary skin protection that helps in relieving irritation as well as soothing the skin.

7. Cucumber

This is known to calm rash from poison ivy and poison oak. Simply rub cucumber slices on the affected areas or grind the cucumber to a paste and apply it over the affected areas.

8. Banana peels or watermelon rinds

When you rub the inside of banana peels or watermelon rinds on the irritated skin causes a cooling effect that brings relief to the skin.

9. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been proven to kill poison ivy and poison oak. The remedy would be to soak a brown paper bag in some apple cider vinegar for some time then place the soaked brown paper bag on the affected area. This act draws out the toxins of poison ivy or poison oak that may have caused the irritation.

 10. Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is known to prevent further spread of toxins on the skin hence limiting the area of infection. This comes in handy in the case of rash caused by poison ivy, poison oak, or the sumac.

11. Lemon juice

Lemon juice contains citric acid which is known to be a natural astringent. This comes in handy when treating rash caused by poison ivy, poison oak, or sumac.

12. Cold Compresses

Cold compresses can help relieve itchiness and reduce the urge to scratch red inflamed rash behind the ear. It will sooth the skin and give a cooling effect on the burning rash.

13. Strongly brewed tea

Strongly brewed black tea also has a soothing effect on rash especially those caused by poison ivy, oak, or sumac. You can dip some cotton in the tea and dab it on the affected area of the skin.

It is advisable that you should avoid scratching the rash no matter their causes. This is because scratching can make the condition worse and bring about infection. Application of an over-the-counter cream like hydrocortisone to the affected areas for itchy rash could help bring relief.

Another good application drug is calamine lotion which has been proven to be helpful in relieving rash caused by chickenpox, poison oak, insect bites, eczema, hives, or poison ivy.

Rash Behind the Ear Natural Remedies

In most cases, home remedies should be done after consulting a doctor for a proper diagnosis. When it comes to rashes, avoid treating them at home. They may be related symptoms to serious underlying diseases in the body.

Fungal skin infection behind the ear
Fungal skin infection behind the ear

In most cases, home remedies should be done after consulting a doctor for a proper diagnosis. When it comes to rashes, avoid treating them at home. They may be related symptoms to serious underlying diseases in the body.

1. Using a thin fiber wash cloth on rash caused by seborrheic dermatitis

A thin fiber wash cloth should be used to wash the infected area every day.

  1. Make the ear wet first to help in making the crust and scale soft
  2. Press in the folds and crease behind the ear using the dump thin fiber wash cloth
  3. Vigorously scrub the crust and the scales on the skin away using the fiber cloth
  4. Pat dry with a clean towel and apply medicated cream

2. Cool damp wash cloth

This generally helps in easing the irritation and relives the itching. It also cools down fever which promotes irritation on the affected area.

3. Clothing

Dress the baby in clothes made of materials that can absorb sweat and are made of natural fibers like cotton. This helps a lot in keeping the skin naturally moisture and helps a lot in avoiding irritation of the rashes.

4. Nails and hygiene

Cutting baby nails to keep them short and clean
Cutting baby nails to keep them short and clean

Keeping short nails help especially for children. Children will tend to scratch the irritation since it is the only solution they have when irritated.

When they scratch the rashes, it will only open them up leading to more infections. Chances are that kid’s nails are also dirty and should be kept short for proper hygiene.

It is important to keep the area behind the ear clean and dry. This helps to keep away bacterial and fungal infections.

5. Detergents and skin care products

Once the rashes are noted to have been caused by allergens, resort to using mild detergents and skin care products that contain less chemicals or no chemicals to avoid further infections.

Try using natural hair dye if you notice rashes after using the once with chemicals. Incases were one reacts to earrings and jewelries, stop using them until the rashes clear up.

6. Tree oil

If the rashes are caused from fungi, apply tea tree oil in its diluted form.

  1. Get a little amount of tree oil in a container
  2. Mix with olive oil in equal proportions
  3. Gently apply on the area and let it settle for some time

7. Turmeric paste

Turmeric paste is good when applied on rashes because of its inherent anti-inflammatory properties. This helps in reducing inflammation, swelling and redness of the rashes.

Symptoms related to rash behind the ear

Some symptoms directly relate to rash behind the ear while others are indications of other diseases in the body. It is important to consult a doctor early when some of this symptoms are detected to avoid the spread rashes to other areas of the skin.

  1. Swollen lymph nodes behind the ear normally relates with rashes behind the ear like in cases of rubella or the German measles.
  2. An itchy feeling behind the ear that when scratched turns the area red. Redness is a common symptom of rash behind the ear.
  3. Small bumpy pimples appear behind the ear
  4. Depending on the cause, the rashes may sometimes vary in color. Reddish, Pinkish or even purple
  5. Dark spots behind the ear develop from the rashes that are healing
  6. Crusty blisters may result behind the ear causes by the sores after they open up
  7. Small bumps with pus like fluids and are painful to touch and may even cause ear ache
  8. In some cases, rash behind the ear may appear but they are not itchy or painful
  9. Fever, vomiting or nausea may accompany the rashes behind the ear
  10. Inflammation with a burning sensation behind the ear either on both ears and one side
  11. Patients may have rashes behind the ear that comes and goes
  12. Rashes behind the ear may appear at the same time with rashes on other areas like the chest, forehead, face, or back.
  13. Rash behind the ear and neck may be a related symptom to some chronic inflammatory skin conditions.
  14. A scaly or greasy skin sometimes with yellowish crust.
  15. Cough and running nose may sometimes characterize rashes behind the ear like in cases of measles infection in children.
  16. Muscles aches, loss of appetites with fever and headaches may be symptoms of rash behind the ear when they are related to underlying disease like chickenpox

Rash Behind Ear Treatment

Rashes behind the ear or any other part of the body should not be taken lightly. Once the symptoms are well identified, consult a pediatrician or a doctor for the right diagnosis and treatment.

Some rashes behind the ear only indicate the presence of other internal diseases that need urgent medical attention.

Viral rush behind ear can be treated by oral antibiotics or antibiotic cream
Viral rash behind ear can be treated by oral antibiotics or antibiotic cream, PICTURE

1. Antibiotic creams

This may be applied on the affected area after the exact cause has been identified by the doctor. They should not be bought over the counter since they need to be applied as per medical advice.

2. Antihistamine

Helps a lot in regulating the swelling and itching of the rashes behind the ear. The doctors only administer this depending on the cause of the rash behind the ear

3. Calamine lotion

This can also help in reliving the itching rashes. Itching especially in baby’s causes a lot of discomfort since this alone can make them cry all the time.

4. Pills and oral injections

This are mostly administered by qualified doctors on serious or advanced skin rash infections. The doctors will prescribe this according the nature of the rashes. Some rashes spread from behind the ears to other parts of the body. While some appear behind the ears and other parts of the body at the same time.

5. Medicated soap or shampoo with zinc pyrithione

According to Dr. Cynthia Bailey, Soaps or shampoos with zinc pyrithione give great results when used on rashes. Especially in people with saborrheic dermatitis. A good example is Calming zinc soap

It has a maximum level for zinc pyrithione with an added advantage in that it does not leave your skin dry or irritating due to its hydrating and soothing properties.

6. Cetrizine

This is best used on rashes that are formed from ear piercings. Acording to Dr. Pavan Kumar a general and family physician based in New Delhi India, Cetrizine is good for fighting fungal infections but should be used only after a doctor’s checkup.

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Sources and References;

http://healthylifemed.com/rash-behind-ear

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rubella/pages/introduction.aspx

http://www.healthline.com/health/rubella

http://www.healthline.com/health/measles#Prevention9

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Antifungal-drugs/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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